I can’t say I have ever been a particularly big Bee Gees fan but I can’t deny them their place in popular music history, they really did have an astonishing career. Forming in 1958 (yes 1958!) and selling a shade over 200m records, Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb never really got the praise they deserved and were easy targets for mickey-taking, some less affectionate than others. In the UK their popularity came in waves, principally in the late 1960’s (Massachussets, Gotta Get a Message to You), the mid to late 1970’s (Saturday Night Fever) and the mid to late 1980’s (writing for Diana Ross, You Win Again, etc). Lots of people I know say they don’t like the Bee Gees. I don’t believe any of them.
Both of these tunes emerged from American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002), an album largely of cover versions in Cash’ American Recording series, recorded in a very sparse, stripped down style by Rick Rubin, also known for producing among others Run DMC, The Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers. All of Cash’s American Recording albums are soon to be rereleased on vinyl in a splendid box set. Don’t expect multicoloured sleeves.
So why, for the princely Record Store Day-friendly price of £10.99 did I feel the need to buy this diminutive 7″ chunk of white vinyl…?
I was very sad when Orbital (Paul and Phil Hartnoll) decided to hang up their torch specs (again) last year. But I needn’t have been. While Phil Hartnoll continues his glittering career travelling the world superstar DJ-style, brother Paul has emerged as 8:58. He explains the unusual name on his website….
“…For me, 8:58 is a moment of choice,” Paul explains. “It’s almost 9 o’clock. Are you going to school? Are you going in to this job that you hate? Everybody faces that decision now and again. 8:58 am is when you’ve got to make up your mind.”
Hey, we’ve all been there, right…?
Early on in this very breezy look back on his 40 years in writing and broadcasting in the music industry, Mark Ellen laments that he was born too late for The Beatles and too early for punk, Well, judged on what he was born in time for, he ain’t getting any sympathy from me. Continue reading
This particular record by Leeds band Cud has not quite reached the loft but my rules for writing this blog are getting looser with time and frankly, if I don’t write about Cud soon I might just burst. So acquiring their recent double a-side Louise/Mexico (signed!) at a recent gig is all the excuse I need.
Cud were a massive band to me in my early 20s. I was a student in West Yorkshire in the late ’80s /early ’90s, living in a grubby shared house, each room strewn with old copies of the NME and Melody Maker. While we were friends with the usual student-y common interests, at that tender age much of our identity was defined by the bands we listened to. Or perhaps pretended to. But with Cud no pretence was needed… Continue reading